QUESTIONS & ANSWERS:
Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgendered Department

Please remember, this column is designed to help the consumer seeking behavioral-health information, and not intended to be any form of psychotherapy or a replacement for professional, individualized services. Opinions expressed in the column are those of the columnist and do not represent the position of other SelfhelpMagazine.com staff.

Question

I am 39 years old and have had sex with men a few times over the years. My wife knows about my past and feels very threatened about it. The last couple of months I find my self obsessed with exciting fantasies about sex with men. When I have sex with my wife I find myself fantasizing about a man. I don't think I'm a homosexual. I don't really look at men on the street, I look at women. However, these fantasies about men are overwhelming. I am also in my first year of recovery from drug and alcohol abuse. Can you help me be less confused?

Answer

It's easy to see why you're confused. It's a natural reaction to your fantasies about men. But let's not start there. Let's start with the fact that you've been abusing drugs and alcohol until fairly recently. I'm not an expert in treating addictions, but I do know that learning to live without drugs can be pretty confusing. You're probably just starting to learn how emotions and sex feel without drugs and alcohol, just starting to get to know yourself.

I suggest you start by giving yourself permission to be confused. Sometimes it takes a while to figure ourselves out. I also suggest you find a safe place to talk about your feelings and fantasies. That could be with a psychotherapist, in a group, or with friends or a member of the clergy.

There are many people who find themselves sexually attracted to both men and women. Some of them identify as bisexual. There is a book called Bi Any Other Name: Bisexual People Speak Out that you may find helpful. It's published by Alyson Publications in Boston.

3/14/98


Author and psychologist Gail S. Bernstein, Ph.D. has a psychotherapy practice in Denver, Colorado. Dr. Bernstein speaks and writes about gay, lesbian and bisexual people for both general and professional audiences, and is the author of the new audiotape, NOT HETEROSEXUAL: An Educational Program About Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual People.

 

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